WJC President Ronald S. Lauder leads delegation to Pittsburgh to stand in solidarity with community in aftermath of attack

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder leads delegation to Pittsburgh to stand in solidarity with community in aftermath of attack


28 October 2018
Dear friends and colleagues,

A World Jewish Congress delegation led by WJC President Ronald S. Lauder is in Pittsburgh today standing in solidarity with the Jewish community following the horrific deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday, that claimed the lives of 11 people. This was the deadliest attack on a Jewish community in the United States in history.

President Lauder had been scheduled to speak in Moscow tomorrow, at the Russian Jewish Congress’ second annual International Conference on Combating Antisemitism but canceled his visit in order to join Jewish leaders to show our support and help the community in whatever way we can. He is joined by representatives of WJC North America, the WJC Jewish Diplomatic Corps (Program Department), and senior WJC professional staff.

In Pittsburgh, the delegation took part in an official interfaith gathering and vigil organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh in collaboration with synagogues and Jewish organizations, in conjunction with partners from other faith communities, government leaders and Pittsburgh residents.

In the aftermath of the attack, President Lauder said: “The horrific act of terror that took place on Saturday at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh has left all Jewish communities, both in the US and abroad, in a state of absolute shock. We have long warned about the sharp rise in antisemitism, on both the far-right and the far-left and have prayed that the many incidences that we have witnessed of late, of vandalism and desecration of property, would never end in loss of life.”

“This Shabbat, our worst nightmares came true. Innocent people were killed and wounded for the simple crime of being Jewish. This was an attack specifically targeting the Jewish community, in a deliberate and callous manifestation of antisemitism and hatred, and it should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans that such horror can and has happened here. We must be vigilant in making sure that this never happens again,” President Lauder said.

Those who wish to leave a message of condolence and solidarity to the community and the families of the victims are invited to do so here.

Let us stand together as one Jewish community and make it clear that we will not let such hatred prevail.